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Business Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:32 pm on 2nd April 2001.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Privy Council Office) 4:32 pm, 2nd April 2001

I am being asked the same question repeatedly, as was my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. I simply say to the hon. Gentleman that it has been clear latterly that, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister identified last week, the scale of movement of animals before any sign of the disease manifested itself publicly or had been detected was much more than anyone had understood. Consequently, the scale of the difficulties is greater than had originally been anticipated. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will have taken account of issues such as the need to put in place the full machinery to deal with the scale of the crisis as we now appreciate it, but it may well be that all those matters can be dealt with in the time scale that we are discussing.